May 1, 2010Posted by on
April 30, 2010Posted by on
A job with the Reuters is all Jesse had longed for. Few months back, he read an ad for the position of a junior photographer. He applied and almost forgot about it. Not long ago, he was clicking unimportant photos of robbery remains or showy social functions for a local newspaper in a small town.
He opened another note that came with the appointment letter.
Jesse had mixed feelings. Are they so sure of his abiliites that his first assignment would be to cover a never ending war? Or is he being made a scapegoat at the cost of others’ unwillingness?
“C’mon! Its Reuters for God’s sake.” Jesse was headed to Baghdad.
2:43 AM, 12th March 2004, a god forsaken cave, somewhere in Tikrit
As I write this, the sky is getting redder. Its symbolic. Off to a special assignment. PoWs and treatement meted out to them. My sources tell me there is something fishy in one of those camps where they keep them. I don’t belong to any side. I belong to what I feel is right.
Khaleej Times, 16th April 2004
Tikrit : A body of a Reuters photo journalist was found in an abandoned house here late last evening. The name of the deceased is said to be Jesse Rodrigues. No terrorist or tribal group has taken the responsibility for this brutal murder. However, according to the chief of police, Ahmad Raza, the mysterious circumstances under which the body was found does not rule out any other angle in the case. A camera was found in Mr. Rodrigues’ house in the city. The outcome of the probe and examination of the camera will divulge more about the case and the war torned country.
March 21, 2010Posted by on
I ran through my office corridors to catch the 1030 PM bus back home. On my way to the stairs and tripped hurting my elbow in the process. I scrambled up and somehow managed to catch the bus.
I boarded and saw the bus jam packed. It was unusual at that hour generally and that too on a Friday…it was a bad day until i spotted a seat. Sitting beside me was a girl who was visibly tense and was on conf call bout her project. I took out a book from my bag that i had been trying to complete for a long time, but just could not read beyond a page…had my own issues in mind. I leaned back on the seat and closed my eyes. Within a few moments i was asleep.
The bus came to a sudden halt and looked at my watch. Little did i know that the same girl was sleeping on my right shoulder. She was so deep in her slumber that even sudden brakes could not disturb her. I was obviously uncomfortable but let her sleep.
She woke up to continuous honking on the highway. She was profusely apologizing but i kept listening. She told me about the tough time she was having at work. I kept listening. I understood. I really did. A tough day and a sweet encounter with a stranger. The day was balanced…and so were my thoughts.
February 28, 2010Posted by on
Cue : Escape
This is the last time I am doing this. Then it’s just you, me and our baby, honey. Vincent kissed Maria who lay asleep beside him and quietly slipped out of the house.
Vincent was a different man from what he was a few months ago. Maria had changed his life forever. With their baby on the way, responsibility had called him over. They had planned their wedding in a quaint little church just outside Candolim. Vincent was to work as a mechanic in a garage in the little town in Goa, far from the mad, bad Mumbai. It was all decided. A new start on a clean slate.
“I have told you before, this is my final job, boss.” he said to Bro Tito.
Tito did not speak. He pointed towards a table. Vince opened the package and saw the photograph of the target. He did not have to be told how he was going to carry out his last job.
He reached the destination. He opened the glove compartment in his truck and loaded his Glock.
“This is the last time you are going to speak, bitch” he thought.
He leaned against the wall, a sea of thoughts gushing through his mind. His mouth went dry. Vince had taken his decision. This was the only way he could have saved her. Saved them.
He reached the bedroom and saw the target sleeping.
“Good…you don’t have to see this happen”. He took a last look at the photograph.
Vince screwed the silencer, closed his eyes, and… SHWP!
Vince had escaped his predicament.
February 23, 2010Posted by on
This week’s cue : Water
Meenu did not need any help to wake up that morning. In fact, she hadn’t even surrendered to the dream that she saw every night for the last two months. She had worked hard, very hard to see this day materialize.
Meenu had lost her mother when she was born. But her father, a clerk at a bank, never made her feel the need of one till that day. Her eyes told him how she wished her mother was alive to see her deliver the violin recital in front of the whole school. He wanted to say so much to her but couldn’t. She wanted to say to her father how much she loved him, but couldn’t.
The curtains opened up to Meenu facing a sea of people in the school auditorium. The most number of people that she had played for was two. Meenu made a mental note of the notes and closed her eyes. She rested her chin against the butt of the fiddle and drew a deep breath.
“For you mom…”she thought.
The moment the bow touched the strings, the audience was awed. Never before they had heard anyone, let alone a ten year old play like that.
“That’s my daughter!” Mr. Sharma sprang up from his seat, watery eyed.
“Such a pity. The girl creates magic but can’t even listen herself playing. ”, said teacher Singh.
In the vote of thanks after the annual function, headmistress Gloria said, “The Helen Keller school for the deaf and dumb is proud to have prodigies like Meenu Sharma on its rolls.”
February 18, 2010Posted by on
Recently I joined a flash fiction community called FlashXer. I must say that the members in the community are real serious about what they do. I hope I remain loyal to my writing instincts (whatever there are) and contribute and learn as much as I can. I shall be posting my submissions on various cues that the moderator gives to the community members.
This week the cue was :
Pushing her laden grocery cart through the supermarket, she was suddenly aware that she was being shadowed.
Pushing her laden grocery cart through the supermarket, she was suddenly aware that she was being shadowed.
Emma pulled her handbag up her shoulder. A sciophobic, she tried to convince herself that she was the only customer in the cosmetics aisle. This was not the first time that Emma had an experience like this, she was sure of someone’s presence.
‘Was that someone breathing on my neck??’ Emma was turning pale and while she was blabbering to herself, she tripped over a stack of Halloween merchandise. She wanted to cry.
Emma gathered herself and did not care about the broken heel and hurriedly dragged herself towards the billing lady.
‘Tiffany’, said her name tag.
“Bill this! QUICKLY!!”
“Alright! You don’t look ok ma’am…can I help?”
“JUST PACK IT!!”
“You should stay…let me get you some water.”
“Well it happens to many customers.”
“Are you new in town?”
“Well you see, this store was built on a 16th century grave yard.”Tiffany gave Emma a sly smile.
January 27, 2010Posted by on
Carlos loved that feeling of uncertainty when you are not sure whether or not it’s going to rain. He simply loved it. Getting out of the bed and looking out of the window to check if it rained last night. Or just wait till the dark, inflated suspensions of water vapour give up. The feeling just gave him a sort of thrill.
September 17th was one such day. Carlos woke up to his favourite chime and smelled the ambiguity in the air. At work, Carlos impressed the client with an excellent presentation. Same day, he got a raise.
The day could not have been better, Carlos wondered. Plus, the cool breeze against his arms, little goose bumps and the decision of not taking an umbrella made him feel still better. Not that he always made this decision on days like these; he just chose not to take one today.He lit a cigarette. A puff in such weather is always a welcome high.
As Carlos reached the grocery store, he saw Caryn across the road.
Oh! Caryn, he gasped. There was something about her. Not in a fairy tale or movie star sort of way. But the glint in her eyes, her dark brown skin, and her unconventional looks…Carlos could go on and on…He tried to remember how long he had waited to express his feelings towards his neighbour.
Caryn wore her rusty helmet and kick started her 1980 Vespa.
And then it poured. The suspense was over.
“Want a ride back home? I know it’s not very new but still…”
It was certainly the most beautiful uncertain day in Carlos’ life yet.
January 11, 2010Posted by on
Its Jason again. My entry for the competetion on his blog is as follows.
Ali Mushtaq sprang up from his rickety bed, startled.
His tattered shirt was wet, stuck to his incised and frail torso.Third degree.
The cell reeked of piss and dead rodents.
But that’s not what bothered him.
Eight months. Every night. Same dream. Same suffering.
Ali had taste of steel in his mouth. His vomit did not make much difference to what surrounded him. He called out name. It echoed back from the dark unending corridors.
Soon, Ali was murmuring verses from the Koran till the devils took over.
The rain. The overcoat. The cigar. The pistol. The shot.
The only contrast to the scene was blood.
Who the heck killed Sabina Ali Mushtaq?
Let me know your comments on the attempt.
December 17, 2009Posted by on
He unearthed the mp3 player that she gifted him on his birthday.
She has stopped listening to their favourite songs they used to
listen on the shop stairs on their favourite street.
He hates that.
Music was their therapy.
He bought new earphones, put in new songs and his ears are
plugged for some 10 hours a day. The mp3 player is breathing now!
Why now, the justice to the player?
He reasons, ‘ She was my song, my music’.
And nothing else matters….
November 30, 2009Posted by on
Two words to describe this last weekend.
I doubt if that usage is correct..but you get the drift..
Occasion : Reunion (After 3 years) + A dear friend’s Wedding.
Members : Jay, Dolly, Swati (All Pune), Riddhima, Sameer, Piyush (All Nagpur) and yours truly.
Place of visit : Raipur (Central India)
We started off on the right foot when our long pending train tickets got confirmed. Thanks papa (Ya, he is a railway man). The mood was upbeat but just as we were readying to sleep for the overnight journey, there was a bomb scare on the train. We had to alight at an obscure station for police checks and it was not before an hour that the train was let go. It turned out to a be hoax.
Anyway, we reached Raipur by around noon next day and were welcomed by Piyush who had already reached there with the Nagpur gang. We headed straightaway to the hotel to freshen up. Since this was the first south Indian wedding that we were attending, we did not want to miss a single from the innumerable ceremonies that any Indian wedding can boast of.
Most of them weren’t as long as we had expected and it was interesting to know the reason and the procedure with which they were conducted by two pot bellied pandits (priests). All in all it was a great experience to witness a friend getting married and starting a new life with new goals and priorities. The bidai (when the bride takes off with the groom) was obviously tearful.
All said and done, i can assure one thing that all of us returned back with a new perspective towards life. Things change and some day or the other we have to accept them. For me, this fits to the ‘T’. Okay..no more philosophy…
BTW we gifted her a dazzling pair of diamond ear rings!
We returned to Nagpur where all of us had a gala time at this new pub (Sameer’s recommendation). We did not realise how many pints we had gulped down amidst poor and very poor jokes, leg pulling and sharing nostalgia when Swati announced that it was time to go!
The journey back to Pune was uneventful (except for a very irritating Sardarji who did not let us sleep. 🙂 ).
Monday blues!!@#$% Arggh!
Miss you all buddies.